Fintech startup Slice is latest Indian unicorn after $220m funding led by Tiger Global

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Slice has become India’s latest unicorn after the fintech startup raised $220 million at a valuation of just over $1 billion.

The capital-raising was done as part of Slice’s Series B funding round led by New York-based investment firms Tiger Global and Insight Partners.

The round also saw participation from new and existing investors such as Sunley House Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Anfa, Gunosy, 8i and Blume Ventures. Flipkart founder Binny Bansal, along with other notable angels, also took part in the round.

Slice is the 41st Indian startup to achieve unicorn status this year. A unicorn is a privately-held startup with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

Slice, owned by Bengaluru-based GaragePrenuers Internet Pvt. Ltd, is the 11th fintech startup to turn unicorn this year. With this round, the company has raised around $250 million in equity funding so far.

Slice had raised $20 million in June as a part of a funding round led by existing investors Blume Ventures and Gunosy Capital.

Slice plans to use proceeds from the latest fundraise to grow its existing lines of business, invest in newer products and also grow its engineering and design functions. The company will also use a portion of the fresh capital to fund its non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm and scale its loan book.

Slice allows users to pay bills, manage expenses and unlock rewards. It is focused on new-age millennials and Gen Z, with an average age of 27, who have largely been refused credit cards by large banks due to inadequate credit scoring around this demographic.

The company issues credit and payment cards, ‘Slice Super Card’, with Visa and SBM Bank India Ltd, allowing them to build credit scores and win rewards and discounts from payments.

“At Slice, we believe that we have built a solid business model and will focus our energies now into growing and scaling the platform. We have been prudent with our business so far and burnt $4.5 million (in capital) over five years. A part of the capital from this fundraise will be invested in our NBFC, as we need to have our own skin in the game, rather than raising debt alone. The remainder will be utilized towards launching new products and scaling the team,” Rajan Bajaj, founder and chief executive officer at Slice, said in an interview.

Slice is currently working on introducing unified payments interface (UPI)-based payments on its app, besides credit card issuances, Bajaj said.

This year alone, Slice has ramped up its monthly credit card issuances tenfold, from 20,000 cards in January to close to 200,000 cards in October.

The credit line provided by the company on these cards ranges from 2,000 to 10 lakh. It has close to five million registered users on its app.

New card issuances and users for the company are growing 40% every month, Bajaj said. He said the company is currently recording an annual revenue run rate of $60 million.

“Slice has built a product that customers love, which we expect will result in the continued growth and market share gains. We are excited to partner with Rajan and the team as they expand access to credit and deliver best-in-class customer experience,” said Alex Cook, partner at Tiger Global.

The company also has plans to introduce newer products around wealth management and commerce, Bajaj said. He did not give any timelines.

“Slice targets an under-penetrated market in India and seamlessly allows users to make online payments, pay bills and more. There is a large opportunity in the credit and payment space in India, and Slice is well-positioned to become the leader in the industry. We look forward to this partnership with Slice as they continue to scale up and grow,” said Deven Parekh, managing director at Insight Partners.

This article was first published on livemint.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.